Grasslands Observatory: NGC & IC Objects
The initial color images of NGC and IC Objects were obtained with the 24-inch f/5 reflector at the Grasslands Observatory from 1998 to early 2000. They were taken with an Apogee AP7 CCD camera.
The Apogee AP7 contains a SITe 24 micron 512 x 512 CCD chip that has excellent quantum efficiency throughout the visible spectrum and into the near-infrared portion of the spectrum.
Since late 2000, color images of the NGC and IC Objects were taken with a Finger Lakes Instrumentation Dream Machine CCD camera. Dream Machine images have now completely replaced the older AP7 images, because the Dream Machine has a larger field of view, and upgrades to the observatory drive system and focus system permit much longer exposures with better results.
In late 2007 a Quantum Scientific Imaging (QSI) 532 CCD was acquired with an LRGB filter set as well as a hydrogen alpha filter all residing in the QSI 532 internal color wheel. The QSI 532 CCD has a Kodak KAF-3200ME 2184 x 1472 chip with 6.8 micron pixels. This camera can give very high resolution images with the 24-inch telescope, but guiding is critical, and 2x2 binning is sometimes used for imaging.
Other equipment includes an 8-inch f/4 Meade LXD55 Schmidt-Newtonian telescope which has been mounted onto the side of the 24-inch telescope. Imaging through the 8-inch telescope is done with a Canon 20Da or Canon 60Da digital cameras or the QSI 532 CCD camera.
The Canon 20Da or Canon 60Da and the QSI 532 can also be used with a Takahashi Epsilon 180 Astrograph which is sometimes mounted on the 24-inch telescope.